AGAINST ALL ODDS Erin Wrenn and her friend David are in big trouble because they refuse to go on a field trip to the Glitter Tent Circus. They wrote a report on the sad lives of circus animals, and discovered that the Glitter Tent Circus is one of the worst animal abusers of all. Mrs. Dawson is determined to give her students the happy circus experience she remembers from her childhood; she won't let Erin and David share their report or pass around a petition asking for a different field trip. Erin is determined to force Mrs. Dawson to change her plans -- or she'll stage a sit-in at school. Then Erin sees an even bigger problem: Lilly, a mistreated elephant, is about to be sold to a hunting park. How can she save Lilly before it's too late? It seems impossible! Can one girl -- and a class of sixth-graders -- make a difference?
Gr 3-6-Erin Wrenn learns about animal cruelty in circuses while researching for a school report. When her sixth-grade class earns a field trip in a reading competition, it turns out to be to a circus owned by a relative of the teacher. When the performers arrive, some of the kids see Lilly the elephant unloaded using painful hooks and notice other signs of mistreatment. Erin convinces most of the class to stay in school on the day of the field trip and together the classmates decide to raise money to buy Lilly in order to send her to an elephant sanctuary. The circus owner sets the purchase price at $8000, and the students start on a three-week project of raising that amount through car washes, lawn mowing, baby-sitting, etc. The plot moves quickly from event to event leading to Lilly's release. Characterization is slight, but the story does show how determined children can make a difference. Animal cruelty issues are explored naturally throughout. The main appeal of this story will be to animal lovers.-Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, Miamisburg, OH Copyright 2001 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
PEG KEHRET's popular novels for young people are regularly nominated for state awards. She has received the Young Hoosier Award, the Golden Sower Award, the Iowa Children's Choice Award, the Celebrate Literacy Award, the Sequoyah Award, the Land of Enchantment Award, the Maud Hart Lovelace Award, and the Pacific Northwest Young Reader's Choice Award. She lives with her husband, Carl, and their animal friends in Washington State, where she is a volunteer at the Humane Society and SPCA. Her two grown children and four grandchildren live in Washington, too. Peg's Minstrel titles include Nightmare Mountain: Sisters, Long Ago; Cages; Terror at the Zoo; Horror at the Haunted House; and the Frightmares series.
Guided Reading Level
November 20, 2001
Nutmeg Book Award
Nominee 2005 - 2005
Iowa Children's Choice (ICCA) Award
Nominee 2004 - 2005
Massachusetts Children's Book Award
Nominee 2003 - 2004
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